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Santa Maria by mrcc - Mamoli MV42 - 1:50


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So here I start another Build Log...

 

This being my 3rd wooden model ship started, and only one being completed (the first perhaps a little bit over my head), I purchased this model kit on Ebay for a very good price about 20 months ago and actually only began this kit in the late fall last year.

At first I was not going to do a build log as I always find my time limited with regards to posting progress and updates but given the lack of build logs for this particular Mamoli kit (another one, the first on this forum, just recently started this last month), I thought I would start one.

I have always found the age of Exploration of the most interest, and especially with regards to Christopher Columbus...

and that being said here is the token picture of the opened box.

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This kit is perhaps 20 years old and no such luck with regards to laser cut parts...

I have started a Caldercraft kit, finished a Billings Boat kit, and this now my 3rd, having started a Mamoli kit.

 

First impressions were excellent with regards to the plans and documentation and supplied parts, especially with regards to the planking strip wood - beautifully milled wood with tight dimensions and excellent wood grain and colour.

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The bulkheads were incredibly loose in their respective slots along the length of the keel, and that is not exaggerating!

Loose from side to side and top to bottom (from where they should have been sitting) in the slots...

 

I carried on as best I could, not realizing completely the true importance, with regards to making sure everything was lining up perfectly square and true.

Needless to say, some problems were had later in the build...

 

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More progress...

 

Certainly on this first image you can see some of the challenges with the frames or bulkheads not lining up well and being loose in the slots of the keel from side to side and fore and aft. This was basically the story along the whole length of the keel.

 

 

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The deck would / should normally fit past the bulkhead extensions and fit in one piece over the deck base. The bulkheads were so off, some even twisted in their slots that I had to cut the deck into quarters in order to fit them in. Some of the slots in the deck were widened substantially in order for them to fit past the bulkhead extensions, down flush on the base.

 

The last image shows some of the fill to level out the deck topside surface.

 

My fault certainly in not taking extra care and extension when fitting and gluing the bulkheads... I did lots of fairing and sanding and adding of strips to outside bulkhead surfaces to achieve perfect bulkhead / hull surface preparation for the planking to follow. This I certainly took the time to do correctly...

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More progress... (from the past)

 

I planked the main deck, and after the fact, I should have been more careful about the planks when they touch the bulkhead margins... I should have left more space as at a later step I have to remove all the bulkhead extensions and then finish the planking to the sidewalls.

 

Also if you look closely at the picture attached, you will see some of the additions I had to add to the exterior surfaces of some of the bulkheads to achieve a true surface for the full run of the external first planking layer.

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Edited by mrcc
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More progress... (from the past)

 

I am very happy with how the first planking went. I perfected some techniques with regards to steam planking and though the wood was quite solid, I was able to get all my bends at the bow and stern by soaking for 10-15 minutes and then with my wife's flat hair iron, I was able to get all the bends I needed. Some fill was needed at the bow and stern, but mostly because of problems with the bulkheads, rather than problems planking.

 

On these images, I was also able to get my first wale plank perfectly placed on both sides. The kit recommends to paint black, but I will be doing a darker stain for the wale and wales to follow...

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Hi Mustafa, I have been posting updates from work that I did over this past winter.

 

It took me about 3 weeks to do the first planking. I am quite slow normally and I took even more time to do the second planking.

 

Thanks again for checking in...

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Here is more progress on the forecastle bow which started off in error...

 

When I glued the bulkhead forecastle bow piece I noticed later from the plans (that I should have read in more detail) that I should have leaned forward the top edge in a forward incline. I solved this to a degree by building up the bow piece and sanding back the bottom edge to recreate a slight forward leading top edge. Sorry as I do not have a picture of the correction. Looks better anyways...

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And here is my efforts on the second planking...

This being my second effort as I inherited a kit (Billings Boat - Bluenose) that had already been planked.

My first effort was a challenge to say the least on the Caldercarft - Bomb Vessel Granado.

 

On this kit I measured the port and starboard sides and divided the values at each bulkhead (below the wales)  to the width of the plank and tapered the bow and stern planks accordingly. (Above the wales) the planks were all pretty much full width and the steam bending at the bow was quite easy... I was very happy with the quality of the walnut strips as in no splintering at all, in comparison to the supplied wood in the Caldercraft kit.

 

Sorry about the lighting on the first 2 images...

 

Just have to do a light sanding and good to go!

 

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The next challenge was placing the top wale on the hull as in the pictures below you can see the steam bending that was involved.

They actually turned out very accurate once they were done and they fit very well to the hull.

 

The first bend was a challenge as I had to bend them against the long edge and then I left them over night to dry. I had some initial spring back but I then soaked a second time and clamped them overnight for a second night with less spring back at this time. Then into the 3rd day, I gently steam bent with my wife's flat iron the bow and stern with very satisfactory results...

 

Prior to gluing them down, I stained them...

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Here are the wales stained and attached...

 

I had some trouble gluing the top wale at the stern and when reviewing the plans I noticed they should have been glued and ended below the stern extension and the run of the wale certainly would have been more natural looking. I better start reading the plans with more attention.

 

PS Sorry as I can't seem to get the last image to rotate properly for viewing.

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So another small issue in my kit was that I was missing a sheet of 1.5mm thick mahogany that was supposed to be supplied to provider the trim on the main deck railing as well as the trim on the quarter deck railing. Given the bottom edges of the forecastle and the stern deck were already trimmed with walnut I do not know why Mamoli would even specify or indicate a mahogany trim piece anyways...

 

My solution was to go to a local exotic wood supply shop for finishing carpenters here in Calgary, Alberta and try and scrounge up a piece of walnut sheet... no such luck...

but what I did find was some Acacia and found it to be a reasonable match to my walnut that was already affixed.

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My solution with this piece of 3mm plank of wood was to measure and trace directly from the plans a piece of paper that I then measured again the hull and found a very nice fit. With this piece of tracing, I traced it onto the plank and trimmed it down roughly to the correct size and then did a final shaping using my new Dremel routing/shaping table...

 

which worked very well for my purposes as acacia is very soft and easy to work with...

 

the only issue is that the board is 3mm in width and I needed a 1.5mm strip on the hull, but that is an easy issue to deal with/sand once affixed to the hull...

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So the reference for the support struts under the forecastle on the Mamoli plans was noted on the instructions but was non existent on the diagram/plans...

I basically referenced the Mantua instruction manual, pictured below, which is available on the internet, having downloaded them long ago, as my source of information...

 

And even at that, their placement was "wherever"...

Mamoli referenced 5x5mm strips of Walnut and they look very good in my opinion...

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PS The photos really exaggerate some of the spacing between the hull planks, but with the naked eye, actually do not look as bad as in the images.

 

I will do a white glue/water mix with fine sawdust prior to oil on the hull for the larger and more obvious spaces on the hull.

 

Any other techniques or suggestions for fill given that I think I will be using a Danish or tung oil treatment for the hull?

 

Does a commercial walnut filler take the oil evenly as the wood planks would?

 

Thanks for any input...

Edited by mrcc
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18 hours ago, mrcc said:

PS The photos really exaggerate some of the spacing between the hull planks, but with the naked eye, actually do not look as bad as in the images.

 

I will do a white glue/water mix with fine sawdust prior to oil on the hull for the larger and more obvious spaces on the hull.

 

Any other techniques or suggestions for fill given that I think I will be using a Danish or tung oil treatment for the hull.

 

Does a commercial walnut filler take the oil evenly as the wood planks would?

 

Thanks for any input...

I applied tung oil on my model Julian. It gives a very natural look to the ship. And the oil will protect the wood for years. But i want to warn you, after you apply oil, any glue will not work on the surface anymore. I mean you will not be able to glue anything :) If you want to, you will need to sand that place first.

 

Regards,

Mustafa

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14 hours ago, zoly99sask said:

Hi Julian ,you are doing an awesome job,I like your planking and forecastle looking good,Its funny that you are using the Mantua manual because I am building tha Mantua kit and I completly bashed her,and using a plan similar to the Mamoli plan which I think  the best Santa Maria plan out there.

Hi Zoltan, can i find soft copy of those building guides (plan) on the web? Do you have a link? Thanks.

 

Mustafa

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Thanks Mustafa for the compliments...

 

For the Mantua plans, you can go on the Cornwall Model Boats retail web site and half way down on the left, there is a link for Mantua instruction manuals... an easy download.

 

PS Still undecided about Tung oil vs. Danish oil... something to worry about in the future.

Edited by mrcc
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So I am at this point caught up with the work down in the past and what is posted on my log.

These most recent pictures was the work just this past weekend completed.

 

I went outside and with my Dremel, sanded away with great care and attention the plank extensions that were beyond the trim pieces that I affixed the weekend before.

Since these pictures, I have hand sanded the difference and now have a nice tight margin. 

 

I know my postings will certainly slow down at this time...

 

Thanks,

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Just had to repair an issue with the stern wood trim pieces that were affixed a while back...

The instructions were vague and they should have referenced that the metal badges have to fit between the top strakes at that stage in the instructions.

 

Now in hindsight, I should have lifted the trim pieces by about 2mm when I glued them on...

 

I was a bit nervous as they were very well glued on, and having tried to manually cut them off, I had to take my Milwaukee plunge cutter (complete overkill) but I got them off without significant damage to the underlying hull as you can see in the first two pictures and then reaffixed as shown in the last 2 pictures.

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